City of Lincoln and Brexit Select Committee Member of Parliament, Karl McCartney MP, has publicly criticised his own Committee’s new Report, The Government’s negotiating objectives: the rights of UK and EU Citizens.
In the document, the Cross-Party Brexit Committee - with its inbuilt Remainians majority - calls on the Conservative Government to make a unilateral decision to safeguard the rights of EU nationals living in the UK.
The Report also thankfully argues that the Government should seek to ensure that UK nationals already resident in other EU countries - and EU citizens already living here - do not lose their rights to healthcare and pensions after Brexit.
Karl McCartney JP MP, Lincoln’s Member of Parliament, said: “I can quite understand, and partly echo, the wishes of those colleagues on our Committee who want to secure the rights of EU citizens living in the UK as soon as possible.
“But, as I argued along with some like-minded Committee Members for quite some time when we discussed the draft report, we don't think that unilateral action is an ideal negotiating stance at this point.
“Securing the current rights of UK and EU citizens in the EU and UK is a wish that I and, I would hope, all humane people share and there should be absolutely no question of treating EU citizens with anything other than the utmost respect.
“That’s why the Government has promised to make securing their status, as well as that of British nationals in the EU, a priority as soon as we trigger Article 50 and the negotiations begin.
“A unilateral move by the Government to address the issues facing EU nationals in the UK, however well-intentioned, will not help the situation of the hundreds of thousands of our own citizens in the EU to whom we also have a responsibility.
“Our ex-pats could end up facing two years of uncertainty if any urgency to resolve their status were removed by the UK making a one-sided guarantee.
“We need to act fairly and provide certainty for both groups of people as quickly as possible, and that should remain the Government's position.”
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For further information, please contact Karl McCartney JP MP at firstname.lastname@example.org / 020 7219 7221.